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Questions Answered by Rafael Pagan-Colon
1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: My father had his last will & testament notarized in Massachusetts. He lived in MA at the time of his death.

However, My father has 4 homes on one plot of land in PR. His last will & testament states that one child receives 70% of his estate and the other receives 30%. What is legally required next for the heirs to do?

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon answered on Jan 28, 2022

Before addressing the matter of the estate left in Puerto Rico by your late father, a certified copy of your father's will, issued by a Massachusetts probate court, needs to be protocolized via a poll deed by a Notary authorized to practice Notary Law in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: My grandparents died and they did not register the property, I have the deed of the property would I be able to register

The property and build if the property was never registered based on Crim?

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon answered on Jan 28, 2022

Perhaps. First of all, the deed would need to be verified to determine whether the property acquired by your grandparents was merely a plot of land or whether it included a building. Having deceased both your grandparents, you'll need to go through the succession (probate) process to establish... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: My half brother and I are part owners of a house our father left us but I own majority of the house and I want to sell

If my half brother and I are part owners of a house our father left us but I own majority of the house, can I sell The whole house to my daughter for a very low price? Even if he does not want to sell his part. Can I force the court to agree on selling the house? No one has lived in the house for... Read more »

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon answered on Jan 27, 2022

Several matters need to be addressed through your question. First of all, what you and your brother have are an "pro indiviso" interest in the property, which means that you may only sell your share of the real estate property; but you cannot sell the entire house: not to your daughter;... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: Neighbor build a new house on my mom’s property while she was away in the states. What can she do?

Hurricane Maria left my mother’s home unlivable. While she was away, waiting for the home to be repaired, the neighbor knocked down the fence and build his home on her property. Is there anything she can do?

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon answered on Jan 3, 2022

Rule of Law in Puerto Rico grants your mother a 1-year term (starting at the time she becomes aware of the invasion) to request the courts to have her neighbor remove that part of the construction that invades her property. After the year, it would be presumed that the neighbor occupies the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: A family member moved into my home without permission while I'm away for medical treatment. What can I do?
Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon answered on Jan 2, 2022

Rule of Law in Puerto Rico states that you can evict him through the Puerto Rico courts within the year from whence you became aware of your relative’s invasion of your property.

As a start, I would send him a written request, delivered via certified mail with receipt confirmation,...
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: My uncle passed away in Puerto Rico. He rented a house and likely did not have a will. What legal steps are required?
Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon answered on Dec 30, 2021

I'm sorry for your loss. A few questions that need to be answered, prior to addressing your question.

(1) First thing, depending on when your uncle died will determine the circumstances of succession. A new Puerto Rico Civil Code came into effect as of November 28, 2020.

(2)...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: Father selling property to son in Puerto Rico

My father is from PR and bought land for $36k. I have two sisters but he has decided to sell the land to me for $20k. Will this be a legal transaction as I know PR has some different laws when it comes to family and property rights

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon answered on Dec 18, 2021

Unless an economically valid reason is declared in the sales deed, the sales transaction will probably be seen by the Puerto Rico Public Registry as a simulated donation, given that your father is selling you the property below value. The transaction may be rejected by the Public Registry for... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: Digital POA for the sale of one piece of property/Real Estate.

Can a POA be signed electronically by someone who resides in the state of Florida for someone in Puerto Rico? It would be for the sale of real estate. If someone has to be present during the signing, could the person be virtually present?

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon answered on Nov 20, 2021

A power of attorney granted by a Florida resident to be used by a Puerto Rico resident in Puerto Rico cannot be electronically signed at this time. The power of attorney must be signed before a notary public in Florida; then, the State Department in Tallahassee must issue and attach an... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: How do you assign a P.O.A. for a real estate closing sale in Puerto Rico from the mainland U.S.?
Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon answered on Nov 20, 2021

The power of attorney to grant someone in Puerto Rico the authority to make a real estate sale must include the detailed description of the real estate property to be sold, as filed with the Puerto Rico Public Registry (Registro de la Propiedad Inmobiliara). It should also include the property... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Banking, Civil Litigation and Contracts for Puerto Rico on
Q: How can I close my dad’s bank account and used money to pay off his funeral expenses?

My dad passed away 2 years ago in TN but he had his bank account and house in PR. He has a bank account in PR which I was authorized to used and I had power of attorney from PR while he was alive. I paid for his funeral even though he has 7 children. After paying via loans my half siblings (4) do... Read more »

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon answered on Oct 11, 2021

First off, you would need your dad's death certificate. If he granted his last will & testament, a certified copy of the will must also be provided. In the absence of a will, a petition should be filed with the Puerto Rico courts (depending on the city where the house is located) to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: My niece & nephew are now entitle to their mom share of house in PR bc she passed

They were born in New york & refuse to give original birth certificate. Can i obtain their birth certificate & how?. I want to buy home belonging to my parents

their grsnd parents . I can get their mother. My sister bc she was born in PR but not sure about her children.

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon answered on Oct 9, 2021

Having been born in NY myself, I can state that, the only ways to procure an original birth certificates for someone born there are (a) through the person him/herself, (b) through a parent, or (c) through a third party authorized by the person. I would advise that you contact an attorney who... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Arbitration / Mediation Law and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: If childfren of deceased sibling refuse to sign house in PR to sibling willing to buy can somehing be done?

We are 13 siblings & my sister passed. her children for no reason wont provide death and birth certificate. What can be done as i dont have all info about her death(died in PA) & original is needed for pr court to complete doc for new heirs being her children.

Also, if 10 siblings... Read more »

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon answered on Oct 7, 2021

To whom did the house in Puerto Rico belong? If the house is part of your parents' estate, the answer to both questions is the same. Under the Puerto Rico Civil Code, no co-owner of an estate community can be forced to remain in said community. If a unanimous consent of heirs cannot be reached... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: Good Morning! This question is concerning property in Puerto Rico. My father past away and stepmom lives in the house.

The land was transfered under my name and the small two bedroom home is divded in between stepmom and myself since im the only child. It has been 7 years my father has passed. Do i lose my privillages since i have not done anything with the property in Puerto Rico. My stepmom is stating that she is... Read more »

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon answered on Oct 5, 2021

First off, my condolences on your loss. Second, I’d need to know whether your father granted his Last Will & Testament before his passing. Assuming that he left his Will, we’d need to determine whether he left your stepmom the right to inhabit the house for life. Even under those... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Puerto Rico on
Q: I am married but my last two children are not my husband's. How can I end his parental rights.

How can I prove he is not the father and end his parental rights

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon answered on Oct 1, 2021

The Puerto Rico Civil Code establishes a presumption that children begotten within a marriage are the offspring of both spouses. A simple paternity test can determine whether of not your husband is the biological father.

Ending your spouse's paternity rights, however, is another...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for Puerto Rico on
Q: My contract is for a year, I'm in month 7 and he wants to raise the rent. Can he legally do that?
Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon answered on Sep 30, 2021

The answer your question may be available within the very contract that you signed.

Under normal circumstances, the monthly rent is fixed during the lease term (of one year). Under normal circumstances, any change to the contract during its term may only be valid with prior written consent...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property, Probate and Social Security for Puerto Rico on
Q: My father past away. No will. 3 heirs.I lived with dad past 13 yrs and I'm on dialysis. Estate in PR.What are my right.

I don't want to sell but my heirs do. My brother owes $40,000 in child support reason for his need to sell my sister really don't care about the house. Plus I'm in process of getting 75% of dad's social security benefits I'm on dialysis for life and I'm in peace living... Read more »

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon answered on Sep 30, 2021

First off, I'm assuming that your father passed away in Puerto Rico. Although you state that he did not grant a Last Will and Testament, this fact should be confirmed through the Office of Notary Inspections ("ODIN", by its Spanish acronym). We must also verify that a Declaration of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Health Care Law and Public Benefits for Puerto Rico on
Q: my grandmother is elderly she's in a wheel chair barely moves do to her conditions and weight.my grandfather was her

caretaker. He just passed now my uncle has her but is not taking care of her properly. What can I do? I am located in CT and she is located in PR

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon answered on Sep 29, 2021

As part of the process to legally incapacitate an elderly citizen who can no longer care for him/herself, the Puerto Rico Civil Code requires that the candidate guardian reside in Puerto Rico. During the court process, any and all close relatives who can be considered for the guardianship must... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption, Child Custody and Family Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: My sister passed away in Puerto Rico. I want to assume custody of my youngest nephew. His Dad has is not part of his lif

How can I get custody and how long does it take? My wife and I can take great care of him but we need to get back to FL in aprox 10 days.

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon answered on Sep 22, 2021

Good afternoon. As a general rule, Puerto Rico courts procure that guardians of orphaned minors reside within the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico; unless no other alternative guardians are available to care for the minor. A custody case requires that close kin be present at the... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: Buenas tardes, necesito saber quien puede hacer un plano de mensura y cual es el costo promedio de esta diligence en PR.

Good afternoon, I would like information on who to contract an engineer to do a land Survey in PR.

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon answered on Sep 22, 2021

Buenas tardes. Mi oficina utiliza los servicios del ingeniero Iván Robles Ramos cuando necesitamos planos y certificaciones de mensura. Su teléfono es el (787) 860-6865.

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1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: I bought some land in Penulas and there are 2 houses that were built illegally on the property prior to my purchase.

After the purchase, the property lines revealed that these homes were in fact on my property. What can I do to remove them, what rights do I have, and what are their rights?

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon answered on Sep 14, 2021

The rule of law in Puerto Rico grants you a full year after your purchase of the real estate property, to request the courts to evict the people who have invaded your property. Also, the seller may be responsible for clearing the property out before the sale. You may need to bring him/her/they into... Read more »

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